This story, written by Jenny deGroot, first appeared in The Banner, a monthly publication of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC). Photo Credit: Liz Tolkamp
This July, the children’s ministry at Willoughby CRC in Langley, B.C., invited kids from the community and the church daycare to Wild Wonder, a day camp marveling at God’s creation. Liz Tolkamp, children’s pastor, directed the camp. She wanted to remind children of God’s love for them and the world, to have them look at ways God cares for his creation and to think and learn about how they are able to take care of it, too. About 40 children participated in Wild Wonder and 13 teen and adult volunteers led stories, outdoor activities, and creative crafts and prepared theme snacks. More congregation members helped in the weeks beforehand, creating and hanging visual art to enhance the theme.
Tolkamp was inspired by curriculum developed by A Rocha, a Christian environmental stewardship organization. Wild Wonder opened with a welcome and orientation to the theme that included a noon-hour public concert featuring a local family band, the Springmans. Each of the four days had a different creation focus: plants, honey bees, birds and water. The mornings included a themed story time and art sessions, outdoor activities, and snack time. Afternoon field trips connected to the day’s theme. The children wandered through a forest, walked the paths of a bird sanctuary, and visited a honey bee center.
Garima Wilson, a Willoughby CRC member who is also the environmental education and outreach coordinator for the Township of Langley, spent time with the children sharing about water and the importance of water conservation. Her message and challenge to them was “We can start out small, but little by little we can make a difference in our city, then in our province, country, and eventually, in the world.”